Amair Feijoli da Cunha, aka "Tato," a landowner in the Anapu region of the state of Pará, who was accused of being the middleman who paid the killers of an American missionary, Dorothy Stang, confessed at his trial yesterday that he did in fact pay 50,000 reais (around US$ 24,000) to two gunmen who were to murder the American missionary.
Dorothy Stang had worked in the region for 30 years as an activist protecting the land rights of the poor and the environment. The two gunmen, Rayfran das Neves and Clodoaldo Batista, have already been tried and sentenced to 27 years and 18 years, respectively.
According to Tato’s testimony, he made the payment on orders from Regivaldo Galvão, aka "Taradão," (Big Pervert) and Vitalmiro Bastos de Moura, aka "Bida," both of them local landowners who had had problems with the law because of illegal deforestation.
They had paid fines after Dorothy Stang denounced them to authorities. It also seems they were interested in taking possession of rural properties that Stang was trying to protect from land-grabbers, just like Taradão and Bida.
In Wednesday’s, April 26, trial, farmer/landowner, Feijoli da Cunha was sentenced to 18 years in prison for intermediating the murder of Stang.
According to Tato, Taradão and Bida wanted Stang killed because she had denounced them for illegal deforestation. Taradão and Bida have still not been tried.
Prosecution was hoping for a 30 year sentence, but as Feijooli cooperated with the investigation, he was given an 18 year term.
The Stang family is satisfied with the conviction, but will not rest until the two ranchers are also behind bars. "We do not want revenge, but only justice, and it will come when those guilty are imprisoned," said David Stang, brother of Dorothy.